LV-Chanel mash-up bags make Hong Kong designer a tai-tai favourite
Piecco Pang takes elements of bags from both brands and adds touches of his own for one-of-a-kind pieces he’s christened Chanton. Next up, he wants to mix the natural with the artificial
As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and no one could agree more than luxury handbag designer Piecco Pang. The Hong Kong-based designer and founder of label PP4E has become a tai-tai favourite overnight thanks to his latest collection, Chanton, which features repurposed Louis Vuitton and Chanel handbags.
“Ever since I was a kid, I have been obsessed with anything French. When it comes to leather goods, I consider Hermes, Chanel and Louis Vuitton as the three ultimate houses. Interestingly, these are the brands that most women have an emotional attachment to, especially when it comes to bags. Many people keep them in their closets even if they never use them again. The idea behind Chanton [the name is an amalgamation of Chanel and Louis Vuitton] is to help these women let go by turning these bags into something they will use,” he says.
Pang first experimented with his mother’s old Chanel and Louis Vuitton bags, which he deconstructed and pieced back together. To give them a new lease on life he added vintage furniture fabric by Hermes which he sourced in Causeway Bay. Then came the finishing touches in the form of exotic skin leathers, be it crocodile or ostrich, in bold colours such as pink. The front and back of the bag also look completely different, adding to its allure.
“Each piece is unique – it’s kind of like ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’, with each piece taken from a different time and origin. I try to leave as much as I can to my imagination so I don’t follow a particular formula when I’m making the bags. I just see what looks great together. Plus I have learned a lot – I find deconstructing a Chanel bag very satisfying as I can really discover how the bag was made,” says Pang.
As soon as the bags made their debut, they were an immediate success. To keep up with the demand, Pang scours second-hand stores for additional bags to work with, which he then mixes with clients’ old pieces. Many times he will consult with the client on the design to ensure a unique piece.
“I find the process of building the bag with the client extremely personal and interesting. I treasure every conversation with the client, the connection ... the bag is more like an outcome of a conversation,” he says.
For now the bags are made to order and take up to three months to complete. Everything is made in Pang’s atelier in Hong Kong, which is run by a Japanese bag craftsman. While prices start from HK$12,000, Pang only offers three silhouettes to choose from – Models D and R (which are both clutches) and Model H (an everyday tote).
Looking ahead to his next collection, Pang plans to move away from the world of French luxury and explore the relationship between the natural and unnatural worlds.
“One bag, for example, is made up of natural feathers laser printed with bold colours, which is then contrasted with white faux fur. I like the idea of taking something artificial and mimicking the original, and then taking something natural and completely transforming it with technology,” says Pang.